Ask Chuck: If chronic pains persist, could I have Fibromyalgia?

By Charles Colson
Nov. 1, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.

I seem to be in pain quite often all over my body. Could I have fibromyalgia and do you have any good tips?

As a massage therapist, I join with other therapists who realize that living with chronic widespread pain can be quite tough. But believe me, the more you learn, the better you will feel. It seems we often starve for education in fields that seem questionable. There is hope for people with this kind of pain, which may be diagnosed as a condition called fibromyalgia. So let's see how educated we can become on the subject. To understand even more, you can go online and gain great knowledge just under this subject. I hope I can simplify some of this for you.

Knowing the facts can put you on the road to better health. Online you can find such materials as a fibromyalgia handbook and tip pamphlets. However, it is quite wise to seek out a good health care professional who understands and has an abundant amount of patience to help you manage your pain. And this is exactly what pain has come to ... simply taking control and desiring to manage your pain. Fibromyalgia affects more than 6 million people in this country. So more than likely, you are not just imagining you are the only one who hurts all over. Strangely enough, this occurs more in women than men. I hope women never say we men are the main cause for this ... how could that possibly happen? OK dudes, we better stick together.

So let's say I have thought for some time that I do have fibromyalgia. What symptoms would be evident?

Yes, there are symptoms to look for such as: chronic widespread pain occurring throughout the body; tenderness, soreness and flu-like aches; fatigue; problems sleeping; headaches; morning stiffness; memory and concentration difficulties and difficulty performing daily functions.

Please don't throw rocks at me. I guess from this list we now feel like we all have fibromyalgia, right? If not I'm sure we feel like we are hurting more after reading the list. It is a known fact that many people live with pain for years before fibromyalgia is found to be the cause. Now, more health care providers have become aware of the condition and they are addressing it much sooner. As a consolation, there is a growing list of treatments available. Little is known about the cause of this type of pain, but the central nervous system may play a huge role in diagnosing it. Currently, there is no cure for fibromyalgia, but with the help of the most recent treatments, many have now found ways to have a better quality of life after experiencing the use of them. Guidelines from the American College of Rheumatology can help you and your doctor figure out quicker if you may have this condition since there are no blood tests or X-rays available to detect it. Sounds like help is coming your way and sure sounds better than your doctor saying he or she doesn't know what's wrong. Feel better now?

So Chuck, how would massage therapy benefit me if I were to have fibromyalgia?

Glad you asked. I recently attended a seminar just on this subject. They have found that Swedish type massage therapy techniques are proving to be quite beneficial for your comfort. I do underline the word Swedish, because it is very important that you have a relaxing massage and not one that creates any more pain for you. They have found that a lighter touch in massaging is perfect comfort for the nervous system and benefits the entire metabolism for our bodies. It simply causes the blood to flow easily and correctly throughout all organs of the body. Please see that no massage therapist gives you deep massages with this condition. Believe it or not, the lighter touch will result to an extremely satisfied experience, and you and your therapist will be friends forever. Isn't this what life should be all about?

Charles Colson is a local hair stylist and registered massage therapist. You may email hair or massage questions to or call 361-575-5331.



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